Vancouver Canadians Nick Podkul

Nick Podkul connected for his second home of the run to get Vancouver on the board Sunday.

C's RecapThe Vancouver Canadians guaranteed themselves a series victory against Hillsboro and at least a .500 record for the first-half thanks to a 5-3 win over the Hops at Nat Bailey Stadium Sunday afternoon. The one thing they could not guarantee was a playoff berth as Everett defeated Boise to win the first-half North Division pennant.

The C’s jumped out to a first inning lead when Nick Podkul punished a Matt Tabor offering over the fence in left field to give Vancouver a 1-0 lead. Yorman Rodriguez extended his hitting streak with a single to right but he was caught stealing second base to take the steam out of that rally.

Hillsboro responded with a homer of their own in the third. Randy Tufts won the battle of the Randys when his blast off Randy Pondler just cleared the short wall in left field out of the reach of McGregory Contreras.

The Hops went ahead in the fifth when Tufts lined a single to left to score a Francis Martinez double to lead off the inning. Ryan January had a single in between those hits and got to third when Zach Hoffpauir reached on a fielder’s choice. Bryan Lizardo tried to tag January but had settle for forcing out Tufts at second. Hoffpauir stole second but Pondler induced a groundball to Jake Brodt at first and he threw it to catcher Yorman Rodriguez to get January at the plate. Pondler got Keshawn Lynch to pop up to second to escape further damage.

Vancouver Canadians Yorman Rodriguez

Yorman Rodriguez ran his hitting streak to 15 games and drove in a run Sunday.

Vancouver would answer back in the bottom of the fifth when Brandon Polizzi worked a leadoff walk before Otto Lopez reached on an infield single to third off Yeison Santana. Polizzi and Lopez pulled off a double steal. Podkul reached on a fielder’s choice on a grounder to third but he was able to get to second base because Polizzi stayed in a rundown long enough. Rodriguez would get an RBI groundout short to score Lopez from third.

The Hops regained the lead again in the sixth when Jose Caballero walked and stole second before scoring on a two-out double by Martinez.

Vancouver Canadians McGregory Contreras

McGregory Contreras contributed a go-ahead two-run double against Hillsboro Sunday.

The Canadians would retake the lead with two runs in the sixth off West Tunnell. Brodt and Jesus Severino collected one-out singles to left before Contreras drove them home with a double to left. Contreras would get to third on a wild pitch before Lopez worked a two-out walk. Lopez stole second with Tunnell holding on to the ball the whole time. Contreras thought about stealing home but wandered too far off the third base as he was tagged out by Tufts.

Vancouver Canadians Brandon Polizzi

Brandon Polizzi had a hit, two walks and two stolen bases against Hillsboro Sunday.

After being held in check by Justin Garcia in the seventh, Vancouver got one more run in the eighth off Hops reliever Wesley Rodriguez. Sterling Guzman led off with a single and moved up to second after Contreras was hit by a pitch with two outs. Polizzi drilled a line drive double to center to score Guzman but Contreras put on the brakes between third and home. That hesitation would cost him as he would be tagged out at the plate by Hops catcher Andy Yerzy on a 8-5-2 play to end the inning.

After Pondler pitched six innings, Fitz Stadler got the next six outs before lefty Nick Allgeyer worked a perfect ninth for the save.

Vancouver Canadians Nick Allgeyer

Nick Allgeyer worked a perfect ninth inning for his first professional save.

Radar Gun Rundown

radar_gun_iconPondler had strikeouts of 89, 80 and 89 miles per hour as his offerings ranged from 80-90.

Stadler had strikeouts at 91 and 93 and reached 94 at one point. He also threw sliders at 85. Allgeyer had strikeouts at 85 and 82 and checked in at 74 and 92.

Vancouver Canadians Randy Pondler

A quality start by Randy Pondler resulted in his first Northwest League victory.


C's NotesPondler had trouble settling in during the first by walking Jorge Perez and Lynch and was a ball away from walking the bases loaded before Caballero popped up to second. Pondler then induced a 3-6-1 double play started by Brodt and turned by Severino with Pondler covering the first base bag to get out of the inning.

Hops manager Shawn Roof was not happy with the umpires. He argued a second inning 4-3 double play on a ground ball by January that erased a Martinez single at second base. Roof also took issue with the men in blue after Pondler bounced off the mound to start a 1-3 putout from Perez in the top of the third. He also got heated after Polizzi stole second base in the third perhaps due to batter interference by Lopez.

Polizzi got a wakeup call from Tabor after he had to dodge a pitch coming for his head in the bottom of the third. The C’s utilityman nodded towards Tabor and smiled, acknowledging it was not intentional. A nice piece of sportsmanship by both Polizzi and Tabor.

Rodriguez had problems handling a strike three pitch from Pondler in the fourth inning as he could not pick up the ball cleanly at first. He stumbled before recovering to make the play at first to retire his Hops counterpart Yerzy.

Vancouver Canadians Sterling Guzman

Sterling Guzman had Vancouver’s lone multi-hit game Sunday afternoon.

Vancouver wasted a glorious opportunity to take the lead in the fourth when Lizardo and Guzman began the frame with back-to-back singles before Guzman stole second. However, Brodt popped up to third and Severino popped out to second before Contreras hit a fly ball to center that was an out too late.

C’s manager Dallas McPherson showed confidence in Pondler to get out of the sixth inning. The skipper visited paid a visit to the mound but left Pondler in to strike out January on a full-count pitch to strand Martinez who had doubled in the go-ahead run at the time.

Vancouver Canadians Fitz Stadler

Fitz Stadler struck out three over two shutout innings Sunday.

Contreras bailed out Stadler in the seventh by making a diving catch on a sinking liner by Caballero in left field. Stadler had given up a pair of singles to Hoffpauir and Lynch before Contreras made the inning-ending snag.

Podkul had to deal with a tricky hop on the infield dirt in the eighth inning but he stayed with it to retire January to end the eighth inning.

All nine Canadians hitters had a hit with Guzman getting two. Polizzi was on base three times with a pair of walks. Lopez and Podkul reached twice by drawing a base on balls while Contreras did so by taking one for the team. The C’s were 2-for-13 with runners in scoring position and left seven men stranded. They had 10 hits, four walks and a hit by pitch against nine strikeouts.

Pondler gave up three runs on six hits and three walks while striking out four over six innings. Stadler scattered three hits but struck out over his two innings. Allgeyer struck out the first two men he faced in a perfect ninth.

The C’s and Hops conclude this series and the first half of the season with a 7:05 pm contest Monday night at Nat Bailey Stadium. The C’s have not announced a starter for the game. The Hops will go with righthander Matt Mercer (0-0, 0.00), the Diamondbacks 5th round pick of the 2018 draft out of Oregon. The game will be on and on TSN 1040. Pregame show is set for 6:00 pm.


cs-tweetThoughts and prayers go out to the victims, families and friends affected by the mass shooting in Toronto last night on the Danforth. Just another senseless tragedy in the city I consider to be my hometown. The whole thing makes me sick to my stomach.

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